The Smart’s roller-skate styling and snub-nosed style made a big impact when the first-generation models were launched back in 1998 as a joint venture between Swatch and Mercedes-Benz. Time has moved on and now the third-generation model is a little longer overall and substantially safer too. Smart is now owned by Daimler AG but it shares certain technologies with Renault. It’s still only 2.69 metres long and has a two-person cockpit, cute looks and plenty of scope for individual style.


The Smart EQ fortwo is all-electric and features a 17.2 kW/h battery that powers a rear-mounted 82hp electric motor. Maximum range is between 74.5 and 83.8 miles while acceleration from 0-62mph takes 11.6 seconds. That last figure is a little deceptive however, as the way an electric motor can deliver maximum torque from zero rpm gives the little Smart fortwo a surprisingly swift turn of speed away from the lights. A 22kW charger will boost the battery charge from 10% up to 80% in less than 40 minutes, while a home charger will do the same in around 3 hours and 18 minutes.


There are several trim levels to choose from, starting with Passion Advanced, progressing upwards to Pulse Premium and Prime Exclusive and finishing with the flagship Edition One. All feature a 3.5” TFT colour display for instrumentation and a 7-inch touchscreen. Android Auto and Mirror Link come as standard for smartphone compatibility and the Smart Media system includes navigation and a Charge Spot finder. High trim levels offer more choice of finishes and wheels rather than more tech features, though the Prime Exclusive also has ambient interior lighting and heated seats.


Though it’s a small car, the Smart shows the result of careful consideration for the safety of its occupants and that of other road users. The battery is set in a robust underbody frame and the Tridon safety cell that surrounds the occupants is made of 75% high-strength steels. Both driver and passenger have dash mounted airbags and there’s a driver-side kneebag as well as window bags and two pelvis/thorax bags mounted in the seats. Active Brake Assist, Crosswind Assist, and Hill Start Assist are all standard features.